We’ve all experienced that 3 o’clock feeling. You’ve had your lunch, you're on the home stretch of your workday, and your brain seems to have completely clocked out. The only thing getting between you and the end of your to-do list is a serious case of brain fog.Feeling fatigued or foggy from time to time is pretty normal, but experiencing chronic difficulty concentrating and regular confusion the prevents you from being your most productive self is a big problem. What you eat could have a big impact on how you think. Here’s what you need about eating less sugar to benefit your brain.
Sugar and Brain Fog Go Hand in Hand
Too much sugar can prevent your brain from doing its job. One 2012 study performed by researchers at UCLA watched how rats responded to consistently high fructose intake over the course of six weeks. The results were pretty clear — too much sugar impaired their memory and their ability to learn new things.If your brain fog is caused by overconsumption of sweets, watching what you eat and saving sugary treats for special occasions could be the secret to giving yourself a clearer mind.While these short-term benefits are great, the long-term effects of a low-sugar lifestyle may be even more crucial. Maintaining normal glycemic levels over the long term is associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's, according to one new study in the journal Diabetologia.
Mental Health and Sugar Intake
A lack of mental clarity isn’t the only way that sugar affects the way you think. Experiencing the extreme high and low blood sugar fluctuations that come will poorly managed diabetes has long been associated with mood swings. Now, new research has pinpointed potential long-term effects that a high sugar lifestyle can have on your mental health.The risk of mental health disorders may be worsened by consistently high sugar intake, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Specifically, for the participants with the high sugar intake over the course of five years, the risk of developing a common mental disorder was significant. Men in this group of participants were 50 percent more likely to experience a mental disorder while women were 38 percent more likely to experience the same consequence.
How a Low Sugar Lifestyle Can Benefit Your Brain
We don’t need to tell you that healthy eating is important to maintaining your health for the long term. While many of us are clear on the impact healthy eating can have on reducing the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, we don’t often consider how our diet impacts the way we think.Reducing your sugar intake has both short term and long term benefits for your brain. When you eat less sugar, you should notice you’re thinking more clearly throughout the day. You may also notice improvements in mood swings and have an easier time remembering things you normally forget. Ultimately, the choice to cut back on sweets now sets you up for a healthy future by lowering your risks of developing mental health disorders and Alzheimer's later in life.